Enthusiasts Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10-Second Coronet For Son’s Prom!

20:12  16 may  2017
20:12  16 may  2017 Source:   HOT ROD

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Gregg & Grant Somerville' s 526ci Hemi-powered 1968 Dodge Coronet rules the streets of Bradenton, Florida!

Gregg & Grant Somerville' s 526ci Hemi-powered 1968 Dodge Coronet rules the streets of Bradenton, Florida!

Gregg and Grant Somerville have taken a nice 1968 Coronet and transformed it into a beautiful beast.

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Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10 - Second Coronet For Son ’ s Prom !: http://bit.ly/2r5B2oI pic.twitter.com/WCP8etVin2.

The state of Florida is filled with lots of sun, lots of beautiful weather, and loads of cool cars. In that respect it can be kind of tough to stand out from the crowd, right? After all, when any of us builds a project we want to do it in a way that sets us apart from the crowd. Whether we outwardly say it or not, we want our stuff be the recognized because it is so clean, because it is so mean, or because it is just different than anything else, right? There are enough belly button cars out there that falling into line is easy. Thankfully, Gregg and Grant Somerville completely understand this train of thought and that's how they came to create the awesome 1968 Coronet you see before you. No, this was not a father-and-son project that was planned from birth, but one that was a long time coming and has borne more fruit than either Gregg (dad) or Grant (son) could have likely ever imagined.

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  Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10-Second Coronet For Son’s Prom! © Hot Rod Network Staff

Stories like this always have deep roots and in this case those roots sprouted with Gregg Somerville when he was a kid. "I was that kid that could identify the various muscle cars by the way they sounded," Gregg said with a laugh. "I grew up around guys who loved drag racing and muscle cars and it rubbed off on me. I drag raced a Chevelle all the way through college and still spend time at the track today." While he enjoyed his Chevelle, there was another guy that had a larger impact on him. "There was a guy around when I was a kid who had a Super Bee and just the sound of that car would make my arm hair stand up," Gregg explained. "To this day there was something about that Mopar sound that connected with me."

Related Video: Gregg & Grant Somerville's 526ci Hemi-powered 1968 Dodge Coronet (provided by Hot Rod)

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For reasons genetic or otherwise, Gregg's son Grant has loved old cars since he was old enough to peer out a window and see them. "It is pretty amazing to say but he has always had this knack for old cars," Gregg said. "He'd be four or five years old and telling me to look at cars passing by or on the side of the road. When I had saved some money and he was old enough, this was something that we had talked about going after together and doing. Getting our hands on a car that we could do our way. That's how this all got started."

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Coolest dad ever builds 10 - second '68 Coronet for son ' s prom .

  Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10-Second Coronet For Son’s Prom! © Hot Rod Network Staff

The real start of this father/son love affair with a 1968 Coronet started at the world famous Daytona Turkey Rod Run which is held at Daytona International Speedway. Among those thousands of cars are hundreds and hundreds for sale in a massive car corral. Back when Grant was 14 years old he and Gregg attended the event with cash in hand, looking for the right car for them. They walked into the facility and the first car they saw was a 1968 Coronet, and while they liked it they decided to keep on shopping. "We were leaving for the afternoon kind of disappointed that we did not find anything when we ran into the guy selling the Coronet again," Gregg said. "The guy talked us into taking it for a ride and as we were cruising around I looked at Grant and we both kind of realized at the same moment that this was the car, so we bought it."

  Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10-Second Coronet For Son’s Prom! © Hot Rod Network Staff

Yes, the car was a runner and a driver but it was a far cry from the beastly thing you see sitting on the pages before you. "The car was an original 383 car and it had a kind of tired 440 in it when we bought it," Gregg said. "The paint was OK but there were signs that we'd need to get into some body work, and generally speaking the car just needed help. It was a perfect project car because the whole thing was there and it was a ripe candidate to be improved upon."

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  Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10-Second Coronet For Son’s Prom! © Hot Rod Network Staff

You may be wondering about the color of the car. It is not a Mopar color. Instead it is a Triumph Motorcycle color called Coppertone that was tweaked with a significant amount of pearl in the mix. "Because of all the pearl in the paint, it legitimately changes colors depending on the light," Gregg said with pride. "It is a pretty unique color and helps the car stand out from the crowd." The large, square B-Body styling of the machine is also something that keeps it from blending in with some of the more curvaceous designs of the later 1960s.

  Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10-Second Coronet For Son’s Prom! © Hot Rod Network Staff

As beautiful as the body of the car is and as unique as the paint is, if this car did not have the muscles to back up either of those two things it would all be for naught. By this point you understand that Gregg and Grant wanted to do this car once, and do this car right. By that logic there was only one possible engine to power it: an Elephant. That being said, there are tons of options to choose from these days. Build one from scratch? Go with a crate engine? A stock displacement mill? A stroker? Working with John Howard at 21st Century Automotive on the mechanical end of the car, Gregg nearly had Howard screw him together an engine but after doing a bunch of research he found another option. "I really wanted a powerful Hemi in this car because after all, when I was a kid I could not afford this stuff and when you are building a dream car, you want to go all out," Gregg said with a laugh. "I found Indy Cylinder Head and had a few long conversations with Russ Flagle and ended up with one of their Legend 526 Hemi crate engines." Indy has been around a long time and Gregg had a story he wanted to share about the company and their customer service. "I had the engine in the car for about a year, there was a mechanical problem and Russ took care of us like we were family," Gregg said. "I shipped him the engine back, he took it apart, inspected everything, and kept his word on the repairs. I have had the engine back in the car ever since and it has run like a top. The thing is a total animal and I'm very happy I went in the direction I did with the powerplant."

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Coolest dad ever builds 10 - second '68 Coronet for son ' s prom .

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With 650-plus horsepower on tap and nearly 630 lb-ft of torque, you are probably wondering what the car runs in the quarter mile with its built 727 Torqueflite transmission. The answer is that the car runs in the high 10-second bracket, having reeled off a bunch of 10.90 passes at Bradenton Motorsports Park in its life. The car is a cruiser and boulevard bruiser more than a drag strip warrior, hence the fact that it does not have a roll bar in it. As we all know, they look cool but can get annoying on the street. This car has made its hero passes and it'll stick to space shuttle launch burnouts for the foreseeable future.

One of the most visible and cool parts of any car is the stance or the rake. How a machine sits at rest tends to tell a story about how it performs while under power, right? "We went with a full Hotchkis Sport Suspension front system on this car," Gregg said. "It drives really well and with the disc brake conversion it stops lots better than stock. The Strange-built Ultimate 60 in the back is very strong and has handled everything we have thrown at it. We run 3.55 gears in there and it keeps the car comfortable around town and on the highway." The John Howard-built 727 transmission uses a 10-inch 3,000rpm stall converter which helps get the big Coronet up and at 'em quickly whether on the strip or the street.

The coolest part of this car isn't the Hemi, it isn't the paint, and it isn't the fact that it can burn the tires for a city block or run 10s. The coolest thing is the multi-generational connection it has forged between Gregg and Grant. "This is a car he will have for the rest of his life," Gregg said. "I let him drive it to his prom and he did not wreck it, so he passed that test recently." That little kid who loved looking at old cars is going to be attending school in the fall to become a mechanical engineer at the University of Central Florida. The little guy who grew up listening to muscle cars and identifying them as they rolled by has officially passed the bug onto his son and he's done so in a way that will keep that young man occupied and enthralled for the rest of his days. "This car has really bought us a lot of good time and it has been an amazing process," Gregg said. "Whether we're in the shop tinkering around, whether we're going to shows together, or cruising the car, it's something that we do together and I really cherish every minute."

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Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10 - Second Coronet For Son ’ s Prom !

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So you can take your pick on this one. Do you love the large and lovely looks of a 1968 Coronet? Do you like the killer custom color that pops in the sun? Do you like a 655hp stroker Hemi that thunders through exhaust cutouts? Perhaps you love the fact that this is a story about a dad and his son. A story that lots of car guys have been on one end or the other of. Or maybe like us you love all of the above!

  Coolest Dad Ever Builds 10-Second Coronet For Son’s Prom! © Hot Rod Network Staff

FAST FACTS

1968 Dodge Coronet R/T

ENGINE

Type: Indy 526ci "Legend 526" hemi

Bore x stroke: 4.31(bore) x 4.50(stroke), 526ci

Block: Mopar Performance Siamesed iron block

Rotating assembly: Eagle 4340 crank, Eagle H-beam rods, Diamond pistons

Cylinder heads: Indy 426-SR aluminum heads

Camshaft: Comp 305H Magnum camshaft, .560-/.543-inch lift, 305 degrees duration

Valvetrain: stainless valves, Indy 426-27 rockers, Comp 0.80-inch wall pushrods, Milodon timing set

Induction: Indy single-plane intake manifold, Holley 850cfm carb

Fuel system: mechanical factory-style fuel pump

Exhaust: TTI Headers, full dual exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers and Doug's electronic exhaust cutouts

Ignition: MSD 6AL box, MSD Blaster ignition coil, MSD billet distributor

Oiling system: Milodon oil pan, wet-sump factory-style oiling system

Cooling: Be Cool aluminum radiator, aluminum mechanical water pump

Fuel: gasoline

Engine built by: Indy Cylinder Head

Best e.t.: 10.90 in the quarter mile

DRIVETRAIN

Transmission: Chrysler 727 Torqueflite automatic, 3,000-stall Turbo Action converter by 21st century Automotive, trans equipped with Jeg's transmission cooler

Driveshaft: custom steel driveshaft

Rearend: Strange Engineering Dana 60 equipped with Strange locking differential and 3.55 gears

CHASSIS

Front suspension: Hotchkis front spindles and sway bar, Hotchkis torsion bars, Hotchkis spring and shock package as well

Rear suspension: stock-style shocks with leaf springs

Steering: Steer and Gear rebuilt steering box

Brakes: front brake Jeg's disc conversation, rear brakes drum style

Chassis: Hemi K-member swap, frame connectors added, torsion boxes added, Race-style pinion snubber added

Color: 1968 Triumph motorcycle company Coppertone with heavy pearl added, custom air brushing added

Interior: Factory-style interior with addition of Auto Meter gauges to monitor engine

Wheels: 15-inch American Racing Torq Thrust wheels (narrow in the front, wide in the rear)

Tires: Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R front tires, 295/55R15 Mickey Thompson drag radials in rear

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/autos/enthusiasts/-27989-coolest-dad-ever-builds-10-second-coronet-for-son-s-prom/

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